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Magical Realism: Balance and Renewal

Andrea Yomtob - Artist Statement


As a child, the garden was my pallet. I’d create art from dried flowers, soil, insects, twigs, and items from the house. Everything had potential to be in my creation and there was a purity to the creative process. Many years later, the goal of my art is to delicately balance that magical innocence of childhood with the layers of complex experience that come from adulthood.

Magical Realism is the playground in which I explore this balance, as it highlights the magical elements within real life subject matter. I paint subjects of fertility, nature, the feminine, and renewal while interweaving them with symbolic images of dreams, mythology, and human emotion. But subject matter and composition are only half of the execution, as texture reveals complex emotional ideas.

For over 20 years, internationally renowned Nicaraguan Artist, Omar d'Leon, has taught me his unique oil painting technique. As his pupil, I have personalized and honed his teachings to aid me in expressing emotional complexity through layers of texture. In this technique, I use oil, wax, and various additives to create a thick paste of color that I then apply to the canvas. A palette knife is used to scratch back through each layer, exposing the deep, rich colors beneath. Although this process can take months to complete for each painting, the buildup of color, texture, and compositional elements convey the layers of emotion behind each of my subjects. As complex and messy beings, I feel we are layered sums of our life experiences, emotions, and the human condition itself.